If you have a suggestion please leave a message in the blog.
Do any restaurants feature tax day savings? I know that in LA many restaurants offer major discounts on tax day?
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If you have a suggestion please leave a message in the blog.
Do any restaurants feature tax day savings? I know that in LA many restaurants offer major discounts on tax day?
CNN/KABC Talk Radio food critic Peter Dills will be in town Wednesday April 17th to host a wine tasting event at Montecito Vons. The new Toma Restaurant & Bar will be providing food samples for the event. Here is a press release about it:
Wine and Women Wine Tasting Wednesday
Is that enough W’s for you? Join Winemaker Chrissy Whittmann of Wild Horse Winery at the Montecito Vons at 3 PM to 7 PM, April 17th. Chrissy will be discussing Wild Horse Wine and her entry into the world of wine making. This is a taste before you buy event. So, not only can you pick the Winemakers brain and learn about wine, you can purchase the wine at one time only substantial savings. Toma Restaurant will be also there sampling food from their menu. Food Adventurer Peter Dills from KABC Talk Radio will host the event. It is absolutely free so please stop by. Vons 3 PM to 7 PM.
1040 Coast Village Rd., Montecito (805) 969-2112
The popular bakery Our Daily Bread has completed a move from their long-time Santa Barbara Street location to 2700 De La Vina Street, formerly occupied by Mimosa. Here is a press release:
OUR DAILY BREAD OPENS NEW STATE OF THE ART BAKERY AND CAFE
After 32 years as a landmark downtown bakery and café ODB has moved uptown to the corner of Alamar and De La Vina Street. “We will be blending our decades of Artisan baking with a state of the art facility and brand new café, ” said co-owner Laurie Zalk. ODB will have a full breakfast and lunch menu. ODB will be open seven days a week, featuring brunches on Saturday and Sunday. “We are excited to offer a variety of local beer and wine,” added Zalk. “I can’t wait to welcome our old customers to our new location and meet all our new neighbors,” said Ms. Zalk. ODB has a convenient parking lot Alamar, just off De La Vina.
The last day: Here is a picture taken on Monday at their old location.
This just in from reader Hugh:
Great news John.
India Club [at 5701 Calle Real] in Goleta just started having a lunch buffet for $11.95! Fabulous and 2 deserts today. A lemon mousse that was fantastic, 3 kinds of chicken and 2 vegetarian dishes plus some chick pea nuggets and a tiny little bit of salad hidden over with the Chutney. Naan too of course.
I have new favorite now in Goleta. Flavor of India is still great but too mild and sort of bland of late but still a treat.
Still hoping to see a buffet tag on your page on day John.
Hugh the Computer Guy
As the old adage goes, “to do anything great you must do it for 10,000 hours.” Tom & Vicki Dolan, with over 65 combined years of experience in the food & beverage industry, open Toma Restaurant and Bar tonight at 324 W. Cabrillo Boulevard, in the former location of Emilio’s. Toma offers Italian and Mediterranean dishes from Santa Barbara’s seasonal bounty.
“We have a passion and love for the business of entertaining our guests, friends and family,” says Tom Dolan, former employee of Emilio’s for over twenty years. “We strive to offer an incredible culinary experience with a warm and friendly service driven atmosphere that you will want to come back to time and time again. We have always loved the experience of meeting new people and are excited to welcome you.” Co-owner Vicki Dolan has been working with the Fours Seasons Hotel & Resorts and has held positions as F&B Director, Resort Manager and Capital Project Manager.
Chef Nat Ely, formerly Executive Chef at Los Olivos Café and an Emilio’s veteran, created a menu that includes entrées (seabass $25, grilled prawns $27, cioppino $29, roasted chicken $24, braised short rib $26, vegetable roll $18, ‘flat iron’ steak $27), pasta (raviolo $16, black spaghetti $18, gnocchi $22, lasagne $18, rigatoni $17) and pizza (guanicale $16, margherita $14, il fungi $16, smoked salmon $18). A full bar offers local and Italian wines along with hand-crafted cocktails and spirits.
Toma Restaurant & Bar is open for dinner nightly from 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. For more information call 962-0777 or visit tomarestaurant.com.
This just in from Coast Restaurant & Bar, 31 West Carrillo Street:
FINCH & FORK TO OPEN IN HEART OF DOWNTOWN SANTA BARBARA
Coast Restaurant to Evolve into Modern American Bar and Grill
Santa Barbara, CA, April, 2013 – This spring, downtown Santa Barbara will see the evolution of Coast Restaurant into Finch & Fork restaurant, located at 31 West Carrillo Street at Chapala Street. At the helm of Finch & Fork, Chef James Siao will be creating modern American bar and grill favorites, highlighting ingredients from local fishers, farmers and ranchers.
Finch & Fork will be a gathering place where guests can enjoy shareable plates as well as satisfying dishes, and Chef Siao’s menu has been specifically designed to complement craft cocktails, artisanal wines and great beers. The restaurant is located adjacent to Kimpton’s Canary Hotel, and will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, as well as brunch on Saturday and Sunday.
A native of Ohio, Siao spent his childhood working in his father’s restaurant, and eventually attended culinary school in Pittsburgh. He spent time cooking in smaller restaurants in Ohio, and later moved to Arizona, taking culinary positions at the Hyatt Regency at Gainey Ranch and the Marriott Renaissance, before his most recent post as chef de cuisine at Taggia Restaurant at Kimpton’s Firesky Resort in Scottsdale. He moved to Santa Barbara in 2012 to become the executive chef at Coast restaurant.
“In developing my menu, I wanted to offer guests a variety of dishes that are locally sourced. I kept many of our current favorites on the menu, such as our shareable Market Fish Tacos, Flatbreads and our signature Lamb Burger. But I also wanted to add some new favorites—such as my Fried Chicken “Oyster” Sliders, Grilled Asparagus and Macaroni and Cheese. I think there are many offerings that will appeal to all of our guests.”
In addition, Chef Siao is launching “The Daily”- a different special for each day of the week, including his Buttermilk Fried Chicken with creamy potatoes, pepper gravy with housemade pickles on Tuesday’s; Pork & Cork pork dishes paired with wine flight specials that change weekly on Wednesday’s; Seafood Pot Pie with a house made puff pastry on Friday’s; and on Saturday’s, a farmer’s market lasagna made with ricotta and fresh vegetables from the morning farmer’s market. On average, entrees will range from $16-$34 with the shareable plates averaging $6-$16.
Chef Siao’s food will be perfectly paired with craft cocktails, artisanal wines and beers on the menu. Finch & Fork’s beverage program will focus on cocktails that are fresh, light and approachable and will offer one of the region’s largest selections of premium vodkas, tequilas and mezcals. Classics such as the Moscow Mule, Bramble, and Manhattan will be complemented by creative seasonal cocktails. On average, cocktails will range from $9-12.
Wines will highlight the bounty of the Santa Barbara area, and feature many local and regional wineries. The list will feature classic and recognizable wines for the novice enthusiast as well as more unique and quirky selections for the adventurous. The thoughtful list will feature more than 65 wines by the bottle, half bottle and by the glass. Wines by the glass will range from $8-15, and most wines by the bottle will range from $45-75.
Finch & Fork is located within Kimpton’s Canary Hotel in downtown Santa Barbara, California. Breakfast is served Monday through Friday from 7- 11 a.m and brunch Saturday and Sunday 8 a.m.- 2:30 p.m. Lunch is served Monday through Friday from 11:30 a.m.- 2:30 p.m., and dinner Sunday through Thursday 5:30 – 10 p.m. and Friday and Saturday 5:30- 11 p.m. To contact the restaurant, call (805) 879-8100 or visit them at www.FinchandForkrestaurant.com.
Local author Marina Delio has launched a new cook book titled “The Yummy Mummy Kitchen: 100 Effortless and Irresistible Recipes to Nourish Your Family with Style and Grace.” Delio provides a collection of easy-to-make and mostly meatless recipes, as well as inspirational advice from her grandmother, the original “Yummy Mummy.” It is available for sale on Amazon.com.
Due to construction going on in the area Anchor Woodfire Kitchen at 119 State Street won’t be serving lunch until May. The new hours are: breakfast Monday – Friday 7 a.m. – 1 1 a.m., brunch Saturday – Sunday 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. and dinner daily 5 p.m. – close.
Last night was First Thursday and one of the highlights of the evening was attending the showing of popular local artist Sean Calen Blake at DNA Imagery, 529 E. Gutierrez Street. Vegan sushi was provided by Duo Catering & Events.
A 120-seat restaurant named The Lark is coming to 131 Anacapa Street, the former home of Bay Café. Most of the seats will be out door in 2 large patios. The Lark will offer seasonal, local New America cuisine including new ethnic twists on traditional modern comfort food. The chef is Jason Paluska.
“It’s about seasonal. It’s about local,” says owner Sherry Villanueva. “It’s about connecting as close to the source as possible.” The eatery will offer tapas-style farm-to-table cooking with a wood-fired grill, shared plates and a seasonal, changing menu. Villanueva tells me “The entire reason for doing this restaurant and what the whole concept is built around is community. What I love is what happens to people when they connect with one another over food.”
The Lark will have a full bar using fresh produce, seasonal fruits and vegetables to create mixers for craft spirits and hand crafted cocktails. The bar will focus on small production artisan distilleries. Neighboring wine store Caveau will be managing the wine list. Most wines will be from Santa Barbara County. Some will be small production wines that you don’t see very often.
When I asked Villanueva where she the name of the restaurant comes from she told me that the building at 131 Anacapa Street was originally built by the historic Castagnola family in the 1920s as a fish processing plant on the railroad tracks that shipped to San Francisco and Los Angeles. When the Southern Pacific railroad was running between the two cities there were only two trains that stopped in Santa Barbara, one was called the Daylight and the second was called The Lark which was an all-Pullman supper club train.
The Lark will be opened for lunch and dinner 7 days a week starting early summer.
A coffee shop and pizzeria named The Lucky Penny is coming to 131 Anacapa Street, the former home of the raw fish market. The eatery will share the parking lot with the new Lark restaurant that is replacing Bay Café. The Lucky Penny is all to-go and includes wood-fired pizza, artisan coffee and outdoor seating. It will have a narrow, specialized menu including house-made pastries, wood-fired pizzas and more. Free delivery is available within the Funk Zone. The eatery will be open for breakfast, lunch and dinner 7 days a week starting early summer.
Avelina Wine Company will be opening a production winery at 131 Anacapa Street in the Funk Zone. Three businesses will be occupying the 10,000 square foot building: The Lark restaurant in front (formerly Bay Café), Caveau wine store in the middle and Avelina winery in the back.
Whodidily cupcakes closed their Santa Barbara store in April, 2011 and their flagship Montecito location in December of that year. Reader Patrick let me know that they have reopened in Carpinteria with a slightly changed name: “Whodidily by Wendy.” This is the third name for the dessert destination which was called “Sprinkled Pink” when they launched on Coast Village Road in August, 2008. From looking at facebook.com/WhodidilyByWendy it appears that all orders are placed by phone. For more information call 450-2392.
Reader Jonathan let me know that things are about to change at Coast Restaurant and Bar, 31 W. Carrillo Street. I called the Canary Hotel, which was sold to Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants a year ago, and they confirmed that their eatery will announce a new name and new menu on April 15th. Though details are unavailable, rumor has it that the new restaurant name might have the word “Fork” in it somewhere.
If you have a suggestion please leave a message in the blog.
Do you know any details about the store East Beach Wine closing?
I was a regular customer, with a few hundred dollars worth of gift certificates to redeem. I just learned this weekend that the store is closed and the owner moved out of town.
Do you think there is any way I could get my money back?
This just in from Arlington Tavern, 21 W. Victoria Street:
NEWS FROM THE TAVERN
April is a very special month at Arlington Tavern. Not only are we entering Spring, we are celebrating our first anniversary. Last year, on April 23rd, we opened our doors to the public and what an amazing time it has been. We can’t thank you enough for all of the support you have shown during our first year. Long live Arlington Tavern!
You’re Invited: To share our thanks we will be hosting a 1st Anniversary Party April 21st at The Tavern. We will have hosted beer & wine with some apps from 12 to 4pm so please join us.
Host sponsors: Figueroa Mountain Brewery, Zaca Mesa, Brander, Firestone & 805.
We have some new things starting in April. Kick off the the week with “Mac Monday’s” in the bar. Fill your bellies in creative fashion by designing your own mac & cheese. Choose from ingredients like, short ribs, bacon, shrimp, braised leeks, shallots and cheeses like brie, blue or cheddar. The combinations are left to your imagination.
Savor delicious gourmet tacos for $1.50 each during happy hour on “Taco Tuesday’s.” Pair them with an ice cold Modelo Especial or refreshing Victoria Amber.
Speaking of Cerveza, our “Beer of the Week” program has been a tremendous hit and this month we’re bringing in some fantastic beers. We are going International with Estrella Damm from Spain. A specially crafted beer by Feran Adria the famous Spanish chef. Our Domestic selection is Deschuttes from Bend Oregon and for our Local selection, we’re featuring Island Brew from Carpinteria. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram@arlingtontavern to get the scoop on the “AT Beer of the Week” every Thursday.
On to the wine. We have one of the house favorites making a comeback. The Curtis Rosè! This is the perfect Spring-to-Summer wine.
WHAT’S FRESH AT THE TAVERN
What’s Fresh? The local asparagus is back in full swing so come to enjoy the popular asparagus & egg salad or our lamb shank to celebrate Spring.
A new Brazilian restaurant and fitness spot named Brasil Arts Cafe has opened 1230 State Street. Chef Lica Sfredo offers Acai, smoothies, juices, Brazilian BBQ, Coxinhas, Feijoada, Brazilian desserts and more. Fitness options include Capoeira class, Samba, Afro-Brazilian Dance, Brazilian drumming, Portuguese, Forro class and more. Hours are Monday – Saturday 8 a.m. – 9 p.m. For more information call 637-5355 or visit brasilartscafe.com or facebook.com/BrasilArtsCafe. Thanks to reader Greg for the tip!
This just in from the Los Olivos Cafe in Santa Ynez Valley:
Los Olivos Wine Merchant & Café Receives 2013 Family Business Award-Santa Barbara County
Los Olivos, Santa Barbara County, California— Sam and Shawnda Marmorstein, owners of the Los Olivos Wine Merchant & Café (pictured at left), received the 2013 Family Business Award-Santa Barbara County (Medium Sized Business)during a recent ceremony with other honorees from the tri-counties of Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo.
The annual Family Business Awards recognize companies with two or more family members actively involved as owner-managers or a company where ownership is now in the second generation under family control, according to staff of the Pacific Coast Business Times, award sponsors. According to organizers, family businesses are the backbone of the free enterprise system in our region.
For this eighth year, 11 companies were recognized. Shawnda Marmorstein stated, “We are so honored that Central Coast business leaders and our guests wrote in and nominated us to receive this award. We are thrilled to be named along with companies such as lynda.com and Santa Barbara Travel Bureau.”
The story of the family-owned and operated Los Olivos Wine Merchant & Cafe began in early 1995, when Sam Marmorstein, a former stock broker and entrepreneur, decided to leave Los Angeles and follow his dreams to own a restaurant that would offer great wine paired with great food, in an approachable and welcoming atmosphere in Santa Barbara County wine country.
The Café has been successful since its crowded opening day December 30, 1995. In a perfect blend of food, wine and dreams, Sam met Shawnda at the Café in 1999 and they married in 2000. A former real estate agent, Shawnda had dreamed of owning her own restaurant and is now an integral part of all the family businesses and has been blessed with three children. In 2001, when the retail space adjoining the Café became available, Sam and Shawnda expanded the Cafe by opening the Wine Merchant—featuring over 500 local and international vintages and exclusive distributor of Sam’s own Bernat Wines.
In Fall 2003, a movie producer decided the Los Olivos Café would be the perfect backdrop for some pivotal scenes in his film–Sideways–shot on location in the Santa Ynez Valley,, winner of an Oscar and two Golden Globes, continues to bring worldwide recognition to the Los Olivos Café and the wines of the region.
This just in from Santa Barbara City College:
Santa Barbara, CA — The non-profit Santa Barbara Culinary Arts announces a fund-raising cookbook project using Santa Barbara County recipes from restaurants, caterers and fine food purveyors. The cookbook will celebrate the diversity and excellence of our local cuisine and provide a guide to fine dining in our area. Interested participants can submit their recipes now through the end of July.
All proceeds will go towards the Santa Barbara Culinary Arts Scholarship in Honor of Julia Child. This endowment fund provides annual scholarships to the Santa Barbara City College Culinary Arts program.
Since 2005, ten $1000 scholarships have been awarded to culinary students at SBCC, with 2 per year planned for the future. SBCA has also provided scholarships to Women’s Economic Venture and contributed to the Children’s Creative Project and the FoodBank.
Photographer Linda Blue, who recently won the 2013 News Press Reader’s Choice Award for Photography, will donate her services to photograph recipes for those who do not have a print-ready image to accompany their recipe. Please visit her website: labluephotography.com
ABOUT SANTA BARBARA CULINARY ARTS SBCA is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the inspiration, education and celebration of culinary professionals and individuals who are passionate about the Culinary Arts. Please visit the SBCA website: santabarbaraculinaryarts.com
SBCA also holds events for the public, including fund-raising dinners prepared by local chefs using local, sustainably produced ingredients, such as the upcoming “Backyard Bounty” at the Rockwood Women’s Club.
ABOUT PARTICIPATION IN THE COOKBOOK: Participants are asked to pre-pay for 10 cookbooks at $20 each. The cookbook will retail for $25. The $200 will not be due until the end of summer and will go towards printing costs and a donation to the Santa Barbara Culinary Arts Scholarship in Honor of Julia Child.. For more information, please contact Tama at 805.302.0565 firstname.lastname@example.org
I am enjoying lunch today at Killer Shrimp restaurant in Marina del Rey. They are opening a second location in Santa Barbara this summer.
The Santa Barbara News-Press reports that Los Angeles-based Pressed Juicery has opened at 1024 Coast Village Road. They sell fresh juice shipped from Los Angeles each morning in 31 different flavors for $6.50 per 16-ounce bottle.
The beverage reportedly has a shelf life of 3 days.
In the last 5 years Santa Barbara’s seaside “Funk Zone” of artists, galleries, restaurants, wineries and assorted businesses has become one of the fastest growing areas of the South Coast.
New wine tasting rooms seem to arrive every few months and this summer the Anacapa Project is set to bring the Funk Zone to a whole new level. 131 and 137 Anacapa Street will soon be the home of Figueroa Mountain Brewery, a distillery, a wine store named Caveau, a winery named Avelina, a to-go coffee shop/pizza business named The Lucky Penny and a New American restaurant named The Lark.
The La Entrada Project, which includes a hotel and retail space, is pouring millions of dollars into the redevelopment of the Funk Zone. In summary: a lot of people are betting on the future of the Funk Zone which is helping make it a popular destination independent of its home city.
All this leads computer geeks like me to ask the question: Who owns FunkZone.com?
While enjoying a latte at Coffee Cat last week I brought out my iPad and decided to find the answer. After a few minutes of research I was amazed to discover that FunkZone.com wasn’t owned by someone in Santa Barbara. The domain was registered in 1998 by a man named John in Naperville, Illinois, who decided to buy it during the height of the dot com boom. In the last 15 years he never used it and at some point he posted a “for sale” sign on the home page.
I sent a message to John asking about FunkZone.com and he offered to sell it to me for the price you would pay for a case of good local wine. I thought it was a great deal so last weekend The Restaurant Guy wired funds to the Midwest and bought it. I transferred it from Naperville to Santa Barbara last night.
To be honest I don’t have any specific plans for the domain. I am gathering ideas now and then this summer will begin the process of creating a site that hopefully adds to the body of knowledge already out there about the ever-changing Funk Zone.
What do you think would be the best use of FunkZone.com?
I did a survey of the cost of a single scoop of ice cream (not including gelato) at dessert destinations in Santa Barbara. At each store the price of ice cream in a cup or on a sugar cone is the same.
The king of low price ice cream in town continues to be Thrifty (Rite-Aid) at $1.79. Next up the price ladder is Baskin-Robbins on upper State Street at $2.79 for a single scoop. First in line in the three dollar category is Cold Stone Creamery in Santa Barbara and Goleta which charges $3.65. For a dime more you can go to the new Rori’s Artisanal in Montecito to get a scoop for $3.75. Rounding out the $3 group is Ben & Jerry’s in Paseo Nuevo which commands $3.95. McConnell’s Ice Cream, whose long-time owner Jim McCoy passed away last January, charges $4.10 for a scoop.
At the top of the price list is the Great Pacific Ice Cream Co. on Stearns Wharf where the spectacular ambiance apparently comes at a premium. The price of a single scoop will set you back $4.75 which is interesting because Great Pacific serves… Thrifty ice cream. Hence the most expensive ice cream in town is also the cheapest!
At the risk of revealing TMI, I can say I never cared much for Quaker Oats steel-cut, home-cooked oatmeal. To me it tastes like wet cardboard just out of a blender. The Restaurant Gal is a big fan of it so I have been diligently trying various ways to overcome my aversion to the stuff. Adding fruit wasn’t enough to make it palatable. My breakthrough came a few months ago when I tried putting 5 packets of Splenda on it along with some Kirkland organic soy milk. Now I love the stuff and have it every weekday for breakfast, usually mixed with bananas, blueberries and blackberries.
Last weekend I decided to buy Splenda by the bag so I can just scoop up a spoonful rather that open nearly a half dozen paper packets each morning. Much to my surprise I discovered that Splenda sold by the bag and Splenda sold in packets is not the same stuff. It’s not even close. Splenda by the bag has a totally different texture and is not nearly as sweet. I quickly figured out that I need 4 times the volume of Splenda from a bag to match the sweetness of Splenda from a packet. That works out to be about 20 packets worth of bagged sweetener on my Quaker Oats. With the switch to bag-Splenda my morning meal now looks like wintertime in Aspen, Colorado. It’s embarrassing.
Here is a list of local food and drink destinations that have closed in the last year:
Yogurtland opened today at 5880 Calle Real in Goleta, the former home of Blockbuster. Tonight they close at 7:00 p.m. then switch to their regular hours: 11 a.m. -10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. – 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
On March 30th 7:00 p.m. the Santa Barbara Rape Crisis Center’s annual Chocolate de Vine fundraiser will be held at the Santa Barbara Woman’s Club, 670 Mission Canyon Road. Here is a press-release about it:
Put on your cocktail attire and join us for a mouth-watering celebration of chocolate & wine at Santa Barbara Rape Crisis Center’s Annual Chocolate de Vine fundraiser. The event will be held on Saturday, March 30, 2013 at The Santa Barbara Woman’s Club from 7:00pm to 10:00pm. Live music provided by AREA 51.
For something extra-special, join us for the private VIP reception at 6:00 pm to sample distinctive reserve wines and hors d’oeuvres.
The benefit will offer fabulous chocolate creations from local chocolatiers and pastry chefs. The event will feature a judged competition of chocolate creations including Best Tabletop Presentation, Outstanding Flavor Appeal and the coveted People’s Choice Award.
Tickets are $65 in advance and $75 at the door (if available). The $100 VIP ticket also includes admission to the main event. Tickets can be purchased by calling 805-963-6832 or www.sbrapecrisiscenter.org. Space is limited, so get your tickets now! Guests will also have a chance to bid on luxurious getaways, plus more, in our live and silent auctions.
The Chocolate de Vine fundraiser benefits Santa Barbara Rape Crisis Center, founded in 1974 to support survivors of sexual assault. SBRCC offers a 24-hour hotline, crisis and long-term counseling, self-defense programs, and sexual assault prevention education programs. All services are offered, regardless of ability to pay, in English and Spanish.
Event location: 670 Mission Canyon Road, Santa Barbara, CA 93105. For more information and to purchase tickets, review our website at www.sbrapecrisiscenter.org.
Brazil Arts Café, The French Table, Mama Ganache Artisan Chocolates , Piece of Mind, Renaud’s Patisserie & Bistro, Rincon Catering & Beach Club, Santa Barbara Fudge, Shaybu Chocolates, Sojourner Café
Beckmen Vineyards, Brewer-Clifton, Dierberg Estate Vineyard, Dogwood Cellars, Giessinger Winery, Imagine Wine, Oreana Winery, Palmina, Rideau Vineyard, Riverbench Vineyard & Winery, Starlane Vineyard, Whitcraft Winery
Life Lesson #62: keep your expensive clothes in a garment bag even if they are just hanging in your closet. Last weekend I discovered that a wool-loving carpet beetle found its way in to my closet and chewed holes in my favorite Italian-cut suit resulting in complete destruction. Or perhaps someone secretly borrowed my suit, was hit by a hail of bullets and survived, then secretly returned it.
This just in from James Sly of Sly’s Restaurant, 686 Linden Ave, Carpinteria:
In celebration of the reopening of the El Encanto this week, Sly’s will be serving the famous “Floating Islands” just like I used to make when I was the Executive Chef at the venerable hotel some 24 years ago.
Ile Flotante, or Floating Islands, is an extremely simple dessert – a poached cloud of lightly sweetened meringue, vanilla-bean scented crème anglaise, a few threads of caramel, and some toasted sliced almonds. It’s simplicity is perhaps it’s main attraction. We had a large bowl in sparkling crystal at the entrance to the dining room, competing for the diner’s attention with the beautiful vista of Santa Barbara through the dining room windows ahead.
We’re all excited here in town to see the El Encanto Hotel reopen after seven years. It’s a bit nostalgic for me, as I first came to Santa Barbara in 1989 to be the chef at the El, and had an enjoyable time there until leaving in 1993. Nothing will ever compare to the view, of course, – the view from the terrace at 7 am before a busy Easter Brunch is the best view of Santa Barbara ever. It was great fun working at the “El”, and I have fond memories of the old place. I’m sure the new one will be stunningly better.
Sly’s will be serving the Floating Islands for a couple of weeks to celebrate the long awaited reopening.
In early January 2007, two weeks after I started this column, I met The Restaurant Gal while dining at a hole-in-the wall in Santa Monica. Last May I finally proposed, we were married in July and she moved from down south to Goleta last September. In an effort to turn our “house” into a “home” she has been helping clear out a lot of junk I had accumulated over the years. Though I very much appreciate all her hard work I was shocked to see the rusty, dented Rumor Machine sitting in a trash pile in the side yard. She clearly didn’t know how much I depend on it for this column. I quickly plugged it in to see if it still works and, much to my relief, it appeared to weather the elements intact. All the blinky lights came on as expected but unexpectedly it popped out a sheet of paper that read “American Flatbread is looking at the old Bay Cafe location, 131 Anacapa Street.” As always, this rumor might be completely false or a brilliant forecast of future events. Your call.
If you have any suggestions please leave a message in the blog.
Was hoping you could poll the readers. Is there any place in Santa Barbara to get homemade Chicken Pot Pies other than Harry’s?
I can exclusively report to you that Killer Shrimp Restaurant and Bar, located next to the Marina Del Rey harbor in southern California for more than two decades, will be invading the South Coast this June at 416 State Street in downtown Santa Barbara, the former home of Baja Sharkeez.
Their signature dish “The Original Killer Shrimp” is prepared using a spicy sauce that is simmered for 10 hours. When your order is placed the shrimp are added to the sauce and cooked quickly then served in a variety of ways ($12-$17) including with French bread, “shelled” with French bread, over rice, over Angel Hair pasta, on a sandwich and with Mac and Cheese. Other entrees ($11 – $24) include filet mignon with peppercorn sauce, New York steak, pan-roasted chicken breast, pan-roasted bone-in pork chop, crab cakes, Atlantic salmon, scallops, fried shrimp, beer battered fish & chips and a daily seafood special. You can add grilled lobster tail to any entrée. Appetizers, soups, salads, desserts and a variety of sides are also available.
Killer Shrimp will have large flat-screen TVs and a full bar that serves everything from 12-tap beers on draft, domestic and imported bottled beers, fine wine by the bottle or glass and specialty drinks made with fresh juices. The restaurant is applying for an entertainment permit for dancing.
The late night eatery will be open 11:30 a.m. – midnight Sunday through Wednesday and 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 a.m. Thursday through Saturday. A late night happy hour will be available daily from 10 p.m. – midnight.
Owners Eui and Amanda Oh tell me that the popular dessert destination Yogurtland will open their second location at 5880 Calle Real in Goleta, the former home of Blockbuster, sometime between March 25-27. Hours will be 11 a.m. -10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. – 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. For more information call 964-4402 or visit yogurt-land.com.
The Daily Grind at 2001 De La Vina Street started accepting credit and debit cards on March 1st. Speaking of the Daily Grind I am told that their second location at 2912 De La Vina Street (formerly Taco Bell) is scheduled to open in July.
If you have any suggestions for reader DN please leave a message in the blog.
My husband has been in search of a restaurant in the Santa Barbara area that serves pork belly. Can you please ask your readers if they know of any?
Thank you in advance.
DN : )
Toma Restaurant & Bar, coming to 324 West Cabrillo Boulevard (formerly Emilio’s), is scheduled to open April 10. The food will focus on Italian Mediterranean inspired dishes using ingredients from local farms & fisherman. The menu will also bring back many of the local favorites from the former Emilio’s.
Over the weekend I noticed that the “coming soon” sign for Fresh & Easy, 5955 Calle Real, Goleta (formerly SB Motor Sports) is no longer being displayed. Given that the CEO of the grocery chain stated that he might close all locations in the U.S., I think it is pretty safe to assume Fresh & Easy is no longer coming to Goleta.
Seven years in the making and rebuilt from the ground up at a cost of $134 million, the El Encanto hotel at 800 Alvarado Place on the Riviera reopened today. The hotel has several eating areas including the dining room, the terrace, the lounge, the wine room and the bar. Chef Martineau’s menu offers contemporary California-coastal cuisine infused with Asian touches, French flair that you can enjoy at the only restaurant in town with a view of Santa Barbara. For more information call 845-5800 or visit elencanto.com.
Juice Ranch has opened 33 Parker Way, just around the corner from the Santa Barbara Roasting Company. Here is their press release:
COLD-PRESSED 100% ORGANIC JUICE!
Our goal is to provide the community with the best crafted, cold-pressed, 100% organic juices available.
Unlike conventional juices, our pressed juice is THE most nutritious liquid you can find. Each 17 oz glass bottle has up to 4 pounds of raw 100% organic produce. Our hydraulic press applies 16 tons of pressure to gently extract the juice from the pulp. The end result is a nutritionally packed liquid with raw live enzymes, phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals. It is the closest you will get to raw unadulterated juice.
Simply because we take the utmost pride in our pressed juice, we find only glass to hold up to our standards of health and quality. Glass is 100% recyclable, does not leach out harmful chemicals, and is made from sand! We choose glass bottles so it can be used again and again… and, it just tastes better that way!
Our pressed juice is made with love and bottled right in our downtown shop to serve the community daily. We strive to source solely from organic local farms unless stated otherwise. Due to the nature of using organic produce, our menu changes with the seasons; which keep our taste buds excited!
For more information call 845-4657 or visit JuiceRanch.com.
Reader Kay Lee was asking about Seven Bar & Kitchen in the Funk Zone. I have never heard of them so I looked at their Facebook page and it appears they have the same address (224 Helena St) as The Pub which opened in 2011. Was The Pub replaced by Seven?
A panel of judges decided that the winner of the menudo cook-off at the first annual Menudo Festival held March 10th at Franklin Elementary School is Taqueria El Bajio at 129 N. Milpas Street.
A new Indonesian eatery named Sama Sama Kitchen opens Tuesday March 19th at 1208 State Street, the former home of East restaurant. I am told that the food is Indonesian-inspired and that they are sourcing from local farms and markets. Sama Sama, which means “you’re welcome” in Indonesian, is owned by the head chef Ryan Simorangkir. He spent the last 3 years running a restaurant in Bali with his friend Tyler Peak, who will also be a chef at Sama Sama. There is a full bar but it is separately owned until they can take over the liquor license at the end of May. Hours are Tuesday – Saturday 11:30 a.m. – 2 p.m., 5:30 p.m. – 10 p.m. and Sunday brunch 9 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. For more information call 453-8717 or visit facebook.com/samasamakitchen.
Readers tell me that German eatery Hoffman’s Brats has opened at 801 State Street, the former home of Snack Shack and Rocks.
Here is a list of food & drink destinations that have opened in the last year:
Reader Karlene tells me that Chomp Burgers, Fries and Shakes has opened in Solvang at the corner of Mission and Alisal, where the mermaid fountain is, and in the former home of Manny’s Restaurant. She tells me that the eatery is owned by local residents.
Reader Chris let me know that there is a sign in the front of Pizza Guru, 3534 State Street, indicating that they have temporarily suspended sales of alcohol.
Sources tell me that Tinker’s at 2275 Ortega Hill Road in Summerland is now serving BBQ on Mondays from 12-4 p.m. The offerings include tri-tip, tri-tip sandwiches, ribs, dinosaur-sized beef ribs, chili beans, and some of the typical BBQ sides.
In a few months Santa Barbara’s Funk Zone should officially complete its years-long transition into the “Fun Zone.” An entire block of E. Yanonali Street, between Helena Avenue and Anacapa Street, including a building at 131 Anacapa Street, formerly-known as the Bay Café, will become a food & drink mecca that joins an already-booming wine tasting scene. Referred to internally as the “Anacapa Project,” the new business cluster will include a winery, a distillery, a brewery, a farm-to-table restaurant, a coffee shop/pizzeria, and an imported wine store named “Caveau.”
Figueroa Mountain Brewing Company has been confirmed as a tenant and will include a beer garden adjacent to the brewery. There is a cinder block building currently under construction that runs along Yanonali where the distillery, brewery and winery will go. Each business will be fronted with a large garage door opening on either side of the building so you can walk off the street through each business to a courtyard in the back.
The restaurant will have a large private dining room that seats 80 people. Sources tell me that the restaurant and the coffee shop/pizzeria will be owned and operated by a local woman involved with the Anacapa Project and that a chef has already been hired.
The opening of the Anacapa Project is tentatively scheduled for June.
This just in from the SBPD:
Join us for our 1st annual Menudo Festival, supporting the Santa Barbara Police Youth Explorer Program.
Sunday, March 10, 9am – 2pm, Franklin Elementary School, 1111 E. Mason Street
Come participate in this fundraising festival to benefit the Santa Barbara Police Explorer Program and vote for your favorite menudo as local restaurants compete in this “cook off.” Venga y participe en este festival para recaudar fondos beneficiando el programa de jóvenes exploradores de la Policía de Santa Bárbara. Disfrutara de música y entretenimiento mientras que vote por ¡el menuda más rico! Disfrutara del menudo de varios restaurantes locales.
Music and entertainment included! Suggested donation: adults $10, children $5, 3 & under free.
For more information contact Officer Gutierrez (805) 897-3702
This just in from Petrini’s restaurant at 5711 Calle Real in Goleta. They generously asked me to be a food judge but unfortunately the Restaurant Gal and I will be out of town March 20th. That day I have been invited to the Bay Area to speak about SantaBarbara.com and about my appearance on the Today Show last summer.
Petrini’s is hosting its 3rd Annual Recipe Challenge.
Submit as many of your favorite Italian recipes as you like by MARCH 10 for a chance win a spot on our menu. Winners will also get to name their dish and order it free anytime for six months. Submissions should be made via email (email@example.com) or in person at either of our two locations.
On MARCH 20 at 6:00 we invite everyone to help judge the finalists. We will provide samples of the selected dishes to be voted on by everyone in attendance, including a panel of local, celebrity judges.
We look forward to all of your delicious submissions and can’t wait to vote with you on the 20th. Buon appetito!
Petrini’s Italian Restaurant (Goleta)
5711 Calle Real, Goleta, CA 93117
Presented by the Solvang Conference & Visitors Bureau since 1993 with sponsorship support from the Santa Ynez Valley Hotel Association, “Taste of Solvang” begins Wednesday, March 13 through Sunday, March 17. The event features locally grown foods, wines and diverse cuisine to celebrate the rich cultural and culinary heritage of the area.
The 21st annual Taste of Solvang includes a Chefs Walk & Talk through the Farmers Market on Wednesday, March 13 as well as winemaker dinners, cooking classes and discounted Valley wine tours on March 13-15 and the popular Weekend Passport events are being held March 15-17 (Friday night’s Dessert Reception with the new Dessert Contest; Saturday’s Walking Smorgasbord and Saturday/Sunday Wine Walk).
The three popular “Taste of Solvang Passport” events begin on Friday, March 15, from 7:00-9:00 p.m., with a Dessert Reception and live jazz music at the Veterans Memorial Hall, 1765 Mission Drive in downtown Solvang. On Saturday, March 16, from 11:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m., the Walking Smorgasbord features 40 taste stops around the village featuring bites of Danish, American, Latin, Japanese and Italian cuisines offered by restaurants, bakeries as well as retailers. On Saturday evening, March 16 from 5:00-8:00 p.m. plus on Sunday, March 17, from noon – 4:00 p.m., enjoy the Solvang Wine & Beer Walk offering a dozen downtown tasting rooms pouring their vintages into the prized souvenir Taste of Solvang etched glass.
Featured chefs will include Chef David Cecchini, Cecco Ristorante; Master Chef Norbert Schulz, Mirabelle Restaurant and Chef Heather Rae Hovey, Hadsten House Restaurant. Meet these Chefs at the corner of First Street and Copenhagen Drive for a personalized tour through Solvang’s Farmers Market as they source ingredients and dish up tips on farm fresh inspiration.
A Weekend Passport including logo wine glass, wine charm & souvenir canvas tote bag is $75 per person or individual event tickets (ala carte) may be purchased— (Dessert Reception $25; Walking Smorgasbord $30; Wine & Beer Walk $40). To purchase tickets by phone call 1-800-719-9106 or online at SolvangUSA.com.
La Carreta Mexican Seafood at 290 Storke Road in Goleta (Kmart shopping center) has closed. Sources tell me that a new restaurant should replace it within a week or so. I don’t yet know what type of cuisine the new eatery will serve.
This just in from Los Arroyos, 14 W Figueroa Street:
LOS ARROYOS DOWNTOWN 14 YEAR ANNIVERSARY
Santa Barbara, CA – Los Arroyos Downtown will celebrate fourteen (14) years at its current location at 14 W Figueroa St. on March 4th. From Friday, March 1st to Monday, March 4th, we will celebrate by offering our original menu items and pricing from 1999 and additionally handing out anniversary cupcakes on our official anniversary day, March 4th.
Los Arroyos Mexican first opened in 1999 in Downtown Santa Barbara. Five years later, we opened our second location in Montecito on Coast Village Road. After another five years, we opened our third location in Camarillo at the Premium Outlets.
We serve fresh, homemade Mexican food crafted each day from the finest ingredients. Tony’s original recipes offer a variety of dishes from traditional fare such as Sopes, Tamales, and Pozole to modern cuisine including the Mama’s Salad with grilled vegetables, our Ceviche with fresh fish, and the Garden Burrito.
We employ many Arroyo family members, and friends that have worked for us for so long they are like family. Many of our employees have been with us for more than 10 years, and much of our success is due to them. We are proud and honored to be a local favorite, and we will continue to prepare excellent Mexican food from fresh, homemade ingredients every day. Tony and the entire Los Arroyos family thanks their customers and the Santa Barbara communities for their support, and we look forward to serving our communities for many years to come.
Mike and Kathie Gordon, the owners of Toscana restaurant and Bar Toscana in Brentwood, are planning to open a two-story SY Kitchen (or perhaps “SYK“) at 1110 Faraday Street in downtown Santa Ynez. Bar Toscana chef Luca Crestanelli will oversee a menu of Californian-Italian cuisine and the wine list. Meal prices will be $30 and under. The first floor will feature a patio, dining room, bar, and open kitchen. The upstairs will be used for wine storage and a private tasting room. The eatery is currently scheduled to open in April. Thanks to reader Steve for the tip.
A new restaurant named Kaptain’s Firehouse BBQ has opened at 6545 Pardall Road in Isla Vista. The eatery offers chili, tri-tip, sliders, sandwiches, pulled pork, baby back ribs and a veggie burger. The BBQ is always grilled with mesquite wood and all entrees are served with a side of fries. Hours are Monday – Wednesday 11:30 a.m. – 11:00 p.m., Thursday – Friday 11:30 a.m. – 2:00 a.m., Saturday 11:30 a.m. – 3:00 a.m. and Sunday 11:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m. For more information call 637-9825 or visit their Facebook page.
Noozhawk is reporting that owner Paul Dargan has purchased the Dargan’s Pub & Restaurant building at 18 E. Ortega Street that he has been operating since 1997. The purchase price was $2.9 million.
If you can help reader Natalie please leave a message in the blog.
I just heard a rumor that there is going to be a Menudo Festival at Franklin School on March 23rd to benefit the Santa Barbara Police Department…..do you know anything about this or have any more info????
This just in from reader Charlotte:
So today I drove by Ye Olde Butcher Shoppe [at 4317 State Street], which became a deli and is now Ye Olde Deli and Thai…..say what!!?? Are they competing with Eller’s Donut Shop next door, which also serves Thai eats to those in the know. So weird.
Readers Mike and Ray let me know that The New Black BBQ food truck, that opened for business in November 2011, has stopped serving the Santa Barbara market and hopes to reopen in Los Angeles. Here is a message The New Black BBQ posted on Twitter on January 15th:
Still in biz, just not in SB. We packed up our stuff and will be getting ready to open up in LA in a few short months.
Speaking of food trucks, the O Street Truck, which also opened in 2011, closed last January.
Plow to Porch Organics, presently located at 3204 State Street, will be adding a second location at Patterson Plus Self-Storage, 5329 Calle Real near Patterson Avenue. Plow to Porch provides a local organic/pesticide free produce delivery service to members who subscribe, they also sell local organic/pesticide free items at their State Street market. Pam Plesons, President of Plow to Porch, says they will also be taking over Twincups Drive Up Coffee and Yogurt business at the Calle Real address. Plow to Porch will be adding their own touches by offering a drive up seasonal fresh organic juice bar, fresh yogurt parfaits including local organic fruits, honey and granola, and organic oatmeal with hemp and flax seed infusions. In addition, Plow to Porch’s produce delivery service members will now be able to pick up their orders at either location. Thanks to reader Valerie for the tip.